Updated: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 16:00:02 GMT | By Lia Levesque, The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

Quebec politician's daughter waiting on bail ruling



MONTREAL - A Quebec politician's daughter and one of her co-accused will remain behind bars for at least one more night as a judge considers whether they should be granted bail.

Yalda Machouf-Khadir and Zachary Daoust have been in prison since their arrest late last week and they face multiple charges stemming from the province's student conflict.

A Quebec judge will rule Tuesday morning whether they should be freed. Two other co-accused were granted bail on Monday with conditions.

Machouf-Khadir, 19, her boyfriend Xavier Beauchamp, 20; Simon Langlois, 32; Zachary Daoust, 22 and Andrea Pilote, 22 were all picked up and charged last week. All five have pleaded not guilty.

Quebec court Judge Helene Morin listened to police witnesses and arguments from the Crown and defence lawyers on Monday and will be the one to rule on Daoust and Machouf-Khadir's request for freedom.

The two are facing charges linked to $15,000 worth of vandalism to a former education minister's riding office and $50,000 worth of damage at Universite de Montreal. They have been held since last Thursday.

Machouf-Khadir faces 11 charges in total connection with different events — including break and enter, conspiracy, mischief, assaulting a police officer and assaulting a news photographer.

She has also been charged previously for blocking the Jacques Cartier Bridge and for the occupation of a Montreal college last February — and the Crown cited those repeat allegations while opposing bail for her.

She is the daughter of Amir Khadir, the only elected member of left-wing Quebec solidaire. He is a top critic of the Liberal government's handling of the student crisis.

The Crown has objected to the release because of multiple pending cases where conditions were issued and allegedly not met.

Amir Khadir was in attendance in the courtroom and said he was even ready to put forth $1,000 to secure the release of Daoust, his daughter's co-accused.

"We're putting our faith in the judge's ruling," said Khadir, as his wife and Yalda's grandmother stood at his side.

"I think we must simply assure that the entire process is as impartial as possible and that there isn't an attempt to resolve the dispute between the students and the government through the courts."

Yalda Khadir's grandmother held a bouquet of flower that she wanted to offer her granddaughter and asked a courthouse constable to deliver them for her.

Defence lawyers had questioned the timing of last week's arrests and detentions. The events kept the accused behind bars until after last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal — considered the biggest and most lucrative annual tourist event in Canada.

On Monday, the judge warned many of the students and sympathizers in attendance that she would not tolerate laughter, cheers, yelling and profanity that marked the arraignment of the five last week. She repeated that warning when some young supporters laughed during the testimony of an investigator.

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